Simply put, scoliosis is a curve in the spine to the left or the right when viewed from behind.
But there is more to the story...
When someone is diagnosed with a true scoliosis (or an idiopathic scoliosis) they are being diagnosed with a growth condition. In these types of scoliosis, the growth plates in an individual’s vertebrae are growing at different rates and this causes the spine to bend and twist to compensate. This is a very serious condition and the only chance you have to correct it is while the spine is growing (ie in a child or an adolescent). Once growth is complete the condition is permanent and often causes ongoing problems throughout life. This alone is reason to have your children checked at regular intervals because, just like check-ups to the dentist, in most circumstances if this condition is caught early it is easy to fix. But catching it late can mean extreme treatments of even surgery.
For more information on scoliosis and treatments for idiopathic scoliosis go to: http://www.sydneyscoliosisclinic.com.au
Bad posture, or having one leg shorter than the other, can cause a curve or lean in the spine which is not a true idiopathic scoliosis. This sort of curve is also termed a scoliosis but because the vertebra are not deformed from uneven growth these scoliosis’ can often be resolved quickly and easily with chiropractic treatment. Your chiropractor will know how to assess for the different forms of scoliosis and if need be, the right people to refer you to for the best possible treatment.